The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of N.S., a Child, and Concerning N.S., Respondent-Appellant.
Paso County District Court No. 15JV871 Honorable Timothy J.
Schutz, Judge JUDGMENT AFFIRMED
Folsom, County Attorney, Levi Guthrie, Assistant County
Attorney, Colorado Springs, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
N. H. Ulrich, Guardian Ad Litem Davide C. Migliaccio,
Colorado Springs, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant
1 In this dependency and neglect case, mother's
boyfriend, N.S., challenges the jurisdiction of the juvenile
court to adjudicate paternity with regard to mother's
child, N.S. Because we conclude that the juvenile court has
jurisdiction to enter a judgment of paternity in a dependency
and neglect case, we affirm.
Dependency and Neglect Proceedings
2 The El Paso County Department of Human Services (the
Department) became involved in this case after it received a
report that the child had tested positive for THC at birth
and that there had been an altercation between the
child's mother and her boyfriend. According to the
report, mother threw the child at boyfriend, and, after he
took the child, mother went to his home and threatened to
kill his whole family. Shortly thereafter, mother and
boyfriend set up a meeting for the child to visit mother, who
then decided that she would not give the child back.
Consequently, boyfriend contacted law enforcement officials.
3 The Department filed a dependency and neglect petition. The
petition listed boyfriend as the respondent-father. The child
was placed with him while the Department exercised protective
4 At a pretrial conference, the juvenile court found that
boyfriend had been alleged to be the child's biological
father but had not been adjudicated the child's legal
father. So the court ordered genetic paternity testing.
5 Boyfriend admitted to the dependency and neglect
petition's allegation that the child was homeless,
without proper care, or not domiciled with a parent,
guardian, or legal custodian through no fault of the
child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian. Based on
his admission, the juvenile court adjudicated the child
dependent and neglected. In mother's case, the court
deferred the child's adjudication.
6 The Department subsequently amended the dependency and
neglect petition to list "unknown father" and
another man, A.C., as respondent-fathers. A.C. was served
with this petition. Through genetic paternity testing, it was
confirmed that A.C. was the child's biological father.
7 At a paternity hearing, the juvenile court considered
competing presumptions of paternity. On the one hand,
pursuant to section 19-4-105(1)(d), C.R.S. 2016, boyfriend
was presumed to be the father because he had received the
child into his home and openly held out the child to be his
natural child. On the other hand, pursuant to section
19-4-105(1)(f), A.C. was presumed to be the father because
genetic test results had shown that he was not excluded as
the probable father and that the probability of his parentage
was ninety-seven percent or higher.
8 On December 31, 2015, the juvenile court resolved the
competing presumptions of paternity and entered judgment
adjudicating A.C. as the child's legal father.
9 On February 16, 2016, boyfriend filed a notice of appeal,
challenging the ...